Doughnut Plant (NY) – Beware of the Waistline

You could start your own doughnut plant, right around your waist, if you visit Manhattan too often.

My first visit to Doughnut Plant left me wondering what the hype was about. Sure, more-artisinal-than-normal ingredients for a doughnut but the end result left me unsatisfied. The doughnuts are made by hand with natural ingredients – fresh fruits, sea salt, fresh milk, fresh butter, and unbleached unbromated flour. Glazes follow the same formula. It’s a study in dialectics – healthier junk food and hoity toity doughnuts that are affordable for nearly everyone.

It’s an easy story for the media to latch onto (and they did) so I viewed the place with some scepticism after that first visit. (And there are others who believe the popularity has led to a decrease in quality.)

On a second visit, I tried the infamous Coconut Cream doughnut and then I fully understood. Coconut and sugar on the outside of a yeasty, coconut cream center – it could easily be a daily habit if I lived on the island. The doughnut has a nuanced and subtle coconut flavor permeating it. When you bite in, the cream doesn’t gush out as it might in an inferior doughnut; instead, its ratio is near perfect for the amount of bread.

They sell the doughnuts throughout the city (Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, etc) but I’d suggest visiting the source. Get there by early afternoon to ensure there are still a few left. If you happen to be in Tokyo, they are popping up all over the city – the Japanese love affair with desserts.

The innards – while the picture may not be appetiziing, you can see the lightness of the doughnut.

It’s the sort of formula that could be copied anywhere. Take a comfort food from our past (doughnuts, ice cream, pizza, hot dogs, ramen, etc), create a high-quality artisinal version, stream-line some of the production while maintaining the artisinal roots, and sell it in low-rent bare-bones storefronts and/or farmer’s markets. The anti-business argument is that people are conditioned to pay cheaper prices for these foods but I think people are beginning to recognize and value quality, thus the few places you have seen pop up.

What are other places in your area that fit this criteria?

- chuck

  • Paul

    Are they better tasting doughnut’s, than Krispy Kreme, because they being Krispy Kreme, are the best doughnut’s i have ever had, in England

  • ChuckEats

    Yes, KK’s are mass-manufactured sugar overload with dubious ingredient quality.

  • Tom Ganey

    Put it this way… less impact (for a donut) to your waistline and much better than KK. Far better fat/sugar ratio and far more delicious.


    This is a bit off the usual TRUFFLES – SUSHI & HIGH END CHOCOLATE … a what?

    by Wilbur M. Reeling
    epicurean raconteur

  • Eric

    A nice change of pace from your usual posts! I normally hate doughnuts (yeah, yeah, I know), but the Coconut Cream looks like a tantalizing treat.

  • jo jo

    yes you have seen the light! the coconut is awesome, although i’d prefer more of the coconut creme, like double the amount. i wish they made more filled doughnuts.

    they have fresh doughnuts coming out 3 or 5 times a day (i forgot if it was 3 or 5) but the churlish guy refused to tell me the exact times. and yeah krispy kremes are an abomination and their factories should be razed to the ground.

  • Tom Gandey

    Go to their LES location and let the rotund Indian guy tell you what to have. The guy loves his donuts and immediately directed me to the coco cream, easily their best. Forget all of the stereotypes about coconut cream donuts, theirs is truly the epitome of what a cream donut should be. Fresh coconut blended with what seems like a little condensed milk… sublime.

  • Mark

    I stopped eating doughnuts more than a decade ago, as they seemed to be nothing but sugar and carbs, empty calories, with no interest, either visual or textural (?). I want variety in anything I consume, and after having seen Gordon Elliot’s vlog on the Food Network Show “Follow That Food”, I immediately ran to the ‘puter to see if they delivered, or if they might have a satellite outlet in Dallas, or even (God, I hope they don’t!) in Shreveport: Tokyo is too far to go, alas! Tom, What is an LES site? Chuck, Is “artisinal” a word?

  • will-smith-but-not-that-guy

    Why shouldn’t we have high end donuts? The cupcake craze is over a decade old now, we’ve had high end pizzas for HOW many decades…mac and cheese became a gourmet item a looong time ago….i say, keep it all comin!